Supreme Court of British Columbia Now Sitting in Port Coquitlam:
Easier, Cheaper Access to Divorce in Port Moody, Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam
Residents of Port Moody, Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam may soon have more convenient and less costly access to family law justice including divorces. The Government of British Columbia announced on April 16, 2021 that the Supreme Court of British Columbia would start hearing cases in Port Coquitlam courthouse located at 2620 Mary Hill Road. You can read the government’s press release here.
We applaud the government’s decision to have the Supreme Court sit in Port Coquitlam. The Supreme Court of British Columbia is our highest-level trial court. Divorce actions must proceed in the Supreme Court. (The Provincial Court can hear some types of family cases, but not divorces. An in-depth discussion of the difference between the courts can be found here.)
Until now, getting a divorce for someone in the Tri-Cities meant having a court action in New Westminster or Vancouver. This made no sense. The Tri-Cities is one of the larger, faster-growing parts of the Lower Mainland. As of 2019, 235,000 people resided in the Tri-Cities. The Tri-Cities are projected to grow to a population of 363,900 by 2041. Businesses in Tri-Cities serve more than local residents. People come to Tri-Cities for their needs (including legal services) from many parts of the Lower Mainland. I have clients from Surrey, Maple Ridge, Mission, etc. We already had a courthouse here where the Provincial Court sits. The decision to have the Supreme Court of British Columbia sitting in the Tri-Cities is long overdue.
The fact that residents of the Tri-Cities have had to travel to New Westminster and Vancouver to have their cases heard meant that they usually paid more in terms of their lawyer’s travel time to and from court. That travel time can add up, particularly for trials, which often continue for days. In addition, Vancouver and New Westminster have a high volume of cases, so much that sometimes there are not enough judges and masters to hear all the cases scheduled in a day! We hope that the government’s decision to have the Supreme Court sit in Port Coquitlam means that Tri-Cities residents will have more convenient, and less costly access to justice in their divorce and family law disputes.
The government’s press release has few details except that the Supreme Court will be sitting in Port Coquitlam as of April 19, 2021. I look forward to further announcements on this topic.
Brennan J. Clarkson has helped clients with family law and estate law cases since 2008. He practices in Port Moody, British Columbia at Clarkson Law Corporation.
Contact Clarkson Law Corporation today for a free 30 minute consultation.